In the wake of the Atlanta Braves situation, there are several talented prospects ripe for the taking. The Milwaukee Brewers may be interested.
There is a lot of talent that just hit the open market. Ben Badler of Baseball America covers it all very nicely, including the complete list of available talent. Of course, this group is headed by talented infielder Kevin Maitan.
With these players available again, they are looking for a new home. And the Milwaukee Brewers could provide just that. But the question is, are any of these players worth signing following their release.
In 2016, Maitan ranked behind Luis Robert as the top international prospect. The 17 year old shortstop draws comparisons to some of the best players in baseball, including Miguel Cabrera. There have been scouts watching Maitan since he was 14 years old.
This will be the top signing, after Shohei Ohtani of course. However in two combined rookie leagues he hit only .241. That will not effect his worth too much. Maitan can play and he would be great to have in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
This 18 year old righty is a tale of two leagues. In his first rookie league, he did not surrender a single hit. To be fair he threw only an inning. In the following league, he posted some very impressive stats, but not in a good way. In 18.2 innings, he gave up 17 hits and walked 21 batters.
There is still a future for this young arm, but there are clearly a few mental issues that need to be taken care of. Walking 21 is scary in that amount of time regardless of age. So this is one that the Crew can steer clear of, for now.
Yefri del Rosario
Rosario is an 18 year old right handed pitcher who is absolutely worth signing for the Milwaukee Brewers. He, like each signing, played at the rookie ball level in 2017. His full year stats show a mid three ERA as a starter, and 36 strikeouts with only 14 walks through 37 innings.
These may not be completely dominant numbers, but the 18 year old showed that he can compete. As he grows, he will be a very solid pitcher at the MLB level and the Crew could benefit greatly from his services.
As a catcher, a lot of teams will be clamoring for Gutierrez. He ranked as the 25th international prospect in 2016. The calling card early on is his defensive ability. However, in his home in Venezuela he trains with Carlos Guillen, so the bat will come around too.
The 18 year old hit .264 in his professional debut. Through 35 games he picked up 12 RBIs, one homer, and nine doubles. While Gutierrez did flash some power, the number to keep in mind is the 21 strikeouts. Because he did not get sent packing a lot, it shows maturity at the plate. Needless to say, he would be a great addition to the Brewers.
Juan Carlos Negret
This 18 year old center fielder is fast. He stole 23 bases in 50 games during his debut. Coupling that with a .264 batting average and a couple of home runs, it was not a bad 2017 for the newly released free agent.
Negret would not be a bad signing for the Brewers. It is just a matter of if they want to add another outfielder to the mix. They really don’t need it, but it is always nice to have talent like this grooming in the farm.
In 2016, Severino held down the 26 ranking among all international prospects. He is a middle infielder that can hit very well. As a switch hitter, he has plenty of time to grow into himself. With a little more weight, his bat speed will carry him to wonderful offensive heights.
Severino played in both rookie leagues. It took him a while to warm up, as he hit .189 in the first. However his second half brought a .286 batting average. Once the 18 year old settled in, he showed off his bat. This would be a huge signing for the Crew, and they would get a solid bat.
The final player to be ranked among the top international prospects in 2016 is Peña. He sat at number 29. There is a lot to like about his upside, although his most valuable asset is his ability to think and adjust during at bats. He should develop into a very good third baseman.
In his first taste of professional baseball, Peña hit .230 through 45 games. Not awful, and he will continue to grow. He is still only 17 years old. If he can use his knack for adjusting and learning with his new club then that organization will be happy to have signed him. There is always use for smart players in any organization.
Yet another infielder to be hitting the market. Soto played in 47 games last season with a batting average of .225. He showed tremendous patience drawing 27 walks, while only striking out 26 times. As he matures, the batting average will come up and the patience will still be there.
If the Milwaukee Brewers are in the market for talented, and young, infielders then this is the time. Soto is only 17 years old and has wonderful potential. While he isn’t the top name, he is still a good one.
Zuniga is a 19 year old, right handed, pitcher. During his first half of 2017, he found a lot of success in the relief role. However opponents did hit over .300. That batting average remained consistent during his second half as well, so when he became a starter things did not go as well.
This is a physically big prospect. Zuniga stands a 6’2″ and nearly 200 pounds. That is a lot of weight to put behind the ball. With his size, there is no doubt he can learn the game and grow into a solid arm.
Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas, Antonio Sucre
These three have not made their professional debuts yet. So there is no way, outside of having seen them play, to tell what they are like. However, if they go along with the trend of their departed teammates, they are pretty good.
The Milwaukee Brewers could improve upon an already strong farm system by going after some of these guys. They are talented, and they are there for anyone to sign. Obviously, each of these players want to stay in America and play, so they will all want to sign to new ball clubs.